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U.S.: Entrepreneurs Increasingly Using Hemp For Home Construction

HempField[GreenBuilt.com]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Wall Street analyst James Savage thought there must be a better way. Growing disturbed about the conditions he saw on TV after events like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Haiti, he started looking for a better building material -- and the material he found, through a simple Internet search, was industrial hemp.

"There has to be something better we can do than this," he recalled thinking, reports Matt A.V. Chaban at The New York Times. "Who knew hemp would be the answer to what we were looking for?"

Savage started a company, Green Built, to create building materials derived from cannabis. His first project has been his own 1850s farmhouse, but he said he believes hemp-based building materials can transform both agriculture and construction.

Hemp has had a long history as a fiber used in ropes, sails, and paper products, with Presidents Washington and Jefferson famously cultivating it. Savage is among a small but growing number of entrepreneurs who have turned to hempcrete, which is made using the woody interior of the cannabis stalk combined with lime and water.

Hempcrete provides natural insulation, and is flexible, non-toxic, impervious to mold and pests, and practically fireproof.

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Bill Filed In Legislature

PennsylvaniaHemplandSecurity

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers have pre-filed legislation that they say would help farmers become part of the multi-million dollar hemp industry.

"The 2014 federal Farm Bill authorizes pilot programs for industrial hemp, and SB 50 provides oversight for growing, harvesting and marketing a traditional commonwealth crop while providing new opportunities for Pennsylvania farmers," said state Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks County), who is co-sponsoring the bill with state Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon County).

Schwank said industrial hemp has been used for thousands of years, and was commonly grown in Pennsylvania until the last century.

About 50,000 potential applications exist for hemp, including textiles, building materials, paper, plastics, foods, medicines, biomass, and environmental products.

"The use of industrial hemp provides a multitude of benefits," Folmer said. "The best farmland preservation is allowing farmers to farm their land profitably.

"Hemp is also a crop that helps the environment," Folmer said. "Consumers will benefit from the many uses of hemp."

More than a dozen other states have already passed laws allowing either hemp farming or research programs. The hemp industry was worth an estimated $500 million in 2012, according to the Hemp Industries Association.

Photo: Pennsylvania Hempland Security

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